The Blount Collection

Virtual Exhibition

Blount Galleries

Overview

The Blount Galleries feature noteworthy highlights from the Museum’s primary collection—American paintings from the 18th to the 20th centuries. The artists whose works are shown on this tour represent important aspects of American art history, demonstrating creative roots grounded in European culture and the distinct nature of our country’s relationship to visual art. We hope your virtual experience is both enjoyable and informative, and that you are inspired to visit the MMFA to see the real-world versions of these magnificent works of art.

Above: Photograph of the installation of the Blount Collection in the Museum’s permanent collection, featuring John Singer Sargent’s painting Mrs. Louis E. Raphael (Henriette Goldschmidt) (ca. 1906).

Sponsor

The Blount Collection and Galleries are generous gifts from Blount, Inc. and the Blount Foundation.

“The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts … offer(s) a tangible beauty and cultural spirit that are essential to our city…”

Winton M. Blount, 1988

How to Enjoy

Navigation

Use your keyboard arrows (left and right) or click with your mouse / tap with your finger and drag to look around.

Move

Use your keyboard arrows (up and down) or click / tap the floor rings to move forward.

Zoom

Use your scroll wheel or pinch with your fingers to zoom in and out.

Tags

Click with your mouse, tap with your finger, or hover over for information about the works of art in the galleries.

Different Ways to Explore

Dollhouse View

Click to view and rotate a top-down view of the entire gallery in 3D.

Floor Plan View

Click to view the floor plan of the galleries.

Fullscreen

Expand 3D showcase to full screen.

VR Mode

Click to launch the galleries in virtual reality.

About the Collection

The Blount Collection was originally conceived as a corporate art collection, purchased between 1973 and 1983 by Winton M. Blount (1921–2002) for his Montgomery-based construction company, Blount, Inc.

Blount was inspired by his tenure as Postmaster General of the United States (1969–71), and a subsequent desire to mark the occasion of America’s 1976 Bicentennial in a tangible way that would have lasting value. Working with New York-based American art dealer Larry Fleischman of Kennedy Galleries, he built a collection of paintings and watercolors, and gave 41 of its finest works to the Museum and Montgomery community in 1989, shortly after the Museum’s building in the Blount Cultural Park was completed.

Reinstallation and Interpretation

In 1988, the Museum opened in Blount Cultural Park with a new collection of American paintings under its new roof. This group of forty-one paintings, given by Blount, Inc., instantly elevated the Museum’s holdings, making its American painting collection one of the finest in the Southeast. For the next 30+ years, the Blount Collection works were rarely removed from their assigned places in the galleries.

In 2018, staff identified a refresh of the interpretation of the permanent collection as a priority within the strategic plan. Over the summer of 2019, a team of curators and educators eked out time in their busy schedules to develop a “voice” for new permanent collection labels, beginning with the Blount paintings. With an agreed-upon approach in place, the challenge then became: when and how to develop and install these new visitor-centered “chats” in the midst of all else always going on at the Museum.

Enter the 2020 pandemic. With the Museum’s galleries closed to the public for seven months, staff seized the opportunity to repaint the galleries, reorganize the installation of the works, and— alas—reinvigorate those labels. Today’s visitors experience Blount Collection galleries replete with new, visually striking groupings of works and labels crafted with visitor resonance and relevance in mind.

Winton “Red” Blount and his wife, Carolyn, from the MMFA photography archives

Artists on View

William Merritt Chase

American | 1849–1916

Frederic Edwin Church

American | 1826–1900

John Singleton Copley

American | 1738–1815

Ralston Crawford

American | 1906–1978

Stuart Davis

American | 1894–1964

Guy Pène Du Bois

American | 1884–1958

Francis William Edmonds

American | 1806–1863

Jimmy Ernst

American, born Germany | 1920–1984

William Michael Harnett

American, born Ireland | 1848–1892

Marsden Hartley

American | 1877–1943

Childe Hassam

American | 1859–1935

Edward Hicks

American | 1780–1849

Thomas Hicks

American | 1823–1890

Joseph Hirsch

American | 1910–1981

Edward Hopper

American | 1882–1967

Walt Kuhn

American | 1859–1935

Jack Levine

American | 1915–2010

John Marin

American | 1872–1953

Reginald Marsh

American, born France | 1898–1954

Thomas Moran

American | 1837–1926

Georgia O'Keeffe

American | 1887–1986

Charles Willson Paele

American | 1741–1827

John Singer Sargent

American, born Italy | 1856–1925

Charles Sheeler

American | 1883–1965

John Sloan

American | 1871–1951

Gilbert Stuart

American | 1755–1828
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